Laser Cutting: The Process

The following design was prototyped in an afternoon to put the process together and iron out the kinks in preparation for the workshop.

The final product:

Our original design was created in the free software Inkscape. It took a few tries to work out how to export the file in a format that worked. You can test if the export is ok by opening the “.svg” file in Chrome or Edge (a web browser). If it displays correctly in the browser, then it’s probably ok for the laser cutter.

A small magnet attached to the back was used to turn the “drink coaster” into a fridge-magnet:

The laser-etching and cutting of each disk took about 3 minutes per disk. The colour (darkness) is adjusted by varying the speed that the laser etches the image into the surface. Cuts are made by setting a higher laser power and a slower cutting speed:


via GIPHY

Designs work best when done in a vectorized format (.svg), but we can also work straight from images (.jpg):

Our cutter has a 150W laser. Mirrors move to direct the beam where the lens focuses it to a 0.1mm spot.

Feel free to show us some love on Instagram 🙂
Hope to see you at the workshop!

 

 
 
 
 
 
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